The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940 Page: 271
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dent of Trinity College, the predecessor of Duke, during one of
the most significant periods of the institution's history. Crowell,
a twenty-nine-year-old Pennsylvania schoolmaster and Yale grad-
uate, knew little of Trinity and less of North Carolina when he
accepted the presidency. He found the Methodist school in a
small village five miles from a railroad, without telegraph or tele-
phone. The college occupied one three-story building on a ten-
acre campus, which offered the most meagre material equipment
for teaching by its faculty of six or seven members. Worse still,
the outlook of the college and the community impressed Crowell
as being focused on the past rather than on the future, and the
actual world, with its growing interest in scientific and social
problems, seemed remote from all academic life.
With rare courage and a zeal characteristic of his collegiate
background, Crowell threw himself whole-heartedly into his new
labors. Traveling over the entire width of the far-spreading state,
frequently at his own expense, he attended various gatherings,
addressed schools, Methodist conferences, and churches every-
where, and gave without stint to what he expected to be his life
work. Sensing the inadequacy of secondary schools, he advocated
the building by the church of a system of academies as "feeders"
for Trinity. He saw that the college, if it grew, must be located
in a growing city and have far better material equipment with
adequate endowment. This aim he accomplished in the face of al-
most insuperable obstacles by the removal of the college in 1892 to
Durham, to enjoy a far larger campus, several adequate build-
ings, and an additional endowment by Washington Duke of fifty
thousand dollars. President Crowell, himself, gave the institution
a building for the teaching of technology. Later benefactions of
the Duke family, who had previously shown no interest in Trinity,
are chiefly responsible for what the institution is today.
But such changes inevitably beget hostility. Dr. Crowell made
enemies in moving the college from Randolph County, and more
enemies, probably in his efforts to transform the school into greater
spiritual harmony with the outer world. He boldly championed the
right of his faculty to freedom of political thought, and even to po-
litical activity if they so desired. He was also a champion of inter-
collegiate football despite resolutions to the contrary in both con-
trolling church conferences. Opposition arose among both faculty
and trustees. This he apparently overcame, but when the Western
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940, periodical, 1940; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/m1/285/: accessed May 28, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.